LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Desktop
User Name
Password
Linux - Desktop This forum is for the discussion of all Linux Software used in a desktop context.

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Search this Thread
Old 09-22-2008, 12:02 AM   #16
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
There was an article in one of the linux magazines about how the prevalence of web applications and cloud computing will cause a paradigm shift in security away from relying on closing ports in a firewall and towards a data centric approach. The information being safeguarded is at the core and application security is just around it.
It is very likely that security for your data will end up meaning that you use the service providers encryption... which you won't be able to access without the providers client software (or won't be able to use other providers services to access). Likely it will involve proprietary formats, maybe even specific to the provider.

These things happen already - the business model is in place.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 01:29 AM   #17
chort
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Silicon Valley, USA
Distribution: OpenBSD 4.6, OS X 10.6.2, CentOS 4 & 5
Posts: 3,660

Rep: Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
Define "efficient". It certainly is not more efficient to put your main processing in another building - owned by someone else. It also puts my work at the mercy of the service provider.
You seem to have a different definition of efficient than the dictionary. Let's use commonly-accepted definitions, shall we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dictionary
efficient |iˈfi sh ənt|
adjective
(esp. of a system or machine) achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense : fluorescent lamps are efficient at converting electricity into light. See note at effective .
(of a person) working in a well-organized and competent way : an efficient administrator.
[in combination ] preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource : an energy-efficient heating system.
Quote:
Because a distributed license is cheaper than a per-seat license. But with free software, there is no per-seat.
Oh, so it doesn't have to run on hardware? This is news to me...

Quote:
It is also only a matter of time before the proprietary vendors realize they are missing out and recoup.
Missing out on what? Missing out on not having a business model?

Quote:
However - there is a risk that "consumers" give up their control over their work. There is, for example, a strong motivation to increase lockin to make sure customers stay with one software-service supplier.
I'm not aware of any SaaS contracts that don't have a clause for being able to migrate your data. It's not losing control over the data, since it can always be extracted.

Quote:
On the contrary - you have your opinion based on a short-term goal ... making money. You have not assessed the social consequences, nor have you considered the effect as non-local computing moves into the mainstream. How your competitors will respond. How your software suppliers will react.
Social consequences? Of what, everyone having access to super-computing resources for a fraction of the investment? Yes, this seems like a terrible thing to give low-end consumers resources more on-par with huge corporations.

As for competitors, everyone expects their competitors to move to this model, why do you think companies are adopting it so aggressively? They don't want to miss out on a competitive advantage, or be left behind.

Quote:
Which task and how do you guarantee this? This statement is meaningless without specifics.

Again - specifics lacking. What kind of guarantee?
It doesn't matter, because you wouldn't understand the industry any way. You have no way to verify the facts any more if I gave you details than you would right now, and you're not qualified to comment on the field, so there's really no point.

The fact is the company I work for guarantees, in writing, with financial penalties, that we can perform the given task in under 20 seconds 90% of the time. None of our competitors do. You're free to disbelieve, but then you'll simply be building more ignorance on top of what you have already displayed. Choosing to not believe something doesn't make it untrue.

Quote:
It is easy to imagine a thin-client system served over the internet. The devil is in the details... how easily can customers change service providers? Can they get access to their files? Can they access the service with free software? What happens to their files in the event the service provider proves insolvent?
Read the contract carefully. This is really no different than any other software. Other software stores data in proprietary formats that cannot be converted for use by alternative programs. The argument is a total red herring.

Quote:
There are ways of running these things which mitigate the social and ethical effects. What does your company do to address these issues?
You have yet to present any social issues.

Quote:
While it is possible to imagine an ethical cloud computing service, there is no mechanism which helps guarantee one. It is all too easy to imagine an unethical system, however.
The same is true of on-premises software. Do you have any idea how many applications "call home" with data about their users? You're acting like this issue is unique to SaaS, when that's far from the truth.

Quote:
Not so with free software. Instead of promoting remote use of proprietary systems, we could be developing and improving free software.
Or promoting development of free services? Sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending cloud computing doesn't offer tremendous advantages doesn't make that so. Being tied to on-premises software ties you to very finite hardware resources, thus drastically limiting scalability.

Quote:
Note: professionals (Pixar, Weta) prefer not to risk their "property rights" to a third party. They use inexpensive, local, applications to do their rendering on cheap hardware.
I guess that's why HP and others are investing billions into building on-demand computing environments for graphics rendering? Yes, clearly no one uses those. Certainly not, say, DreamWorks to render Shrek2.

Quote:
But - when the video can only be rendered to a closed format and requires a specific client to view it, you've lost almost all the advantage.
Huh? What would imply a proprietary codec? Now you're just constructing straw-men.

Quote:
you certainly should. You need to think beyond short-term convenience, and try out a larger picture. What sort of society are you helping build?
1984 I guess. That's OK, I'm not trying to win over paranoid delusionals, just ordinary people who don't know the facts.

While you're at it, go tell Chicken Little that the sky is falling.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 05:22 AM   #18
Larry Webb
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Crystal Beach, Texas
Distribution: Suse for mail +
Posts: 5,100
Blog Entries: 7

Rep: Reputation: 229Reputation: 229Reputation: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by chort View Post

While you're at it, go tell Chicken Little that the sky is falling.
Do you feel better, I hear a good rant is very therapeutic.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:29 PM   #19
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Lets see what happens when a self-proclaimed "informed" cloud computing advocate receives some real opposition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chort
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
Define "efficient". It certainly is not more efficient to put your main processing in another building - owned by someone else. It also puts my work at the mercy of the service provider.


You seem to have a different definition of efficient than the dictionary. Let's use commonly-accepted definitions, shall we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dictionary
efficient |iˈfi sh ənt|
adjective
(esp. of a system or machine) achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense : fluorescent lamps are efficient at converting electricity into light. See note at effective .
• (of a person) working in a well-organized and competent way : an efficient administrator.
• [in combination ] preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource : an energy-efficient heating system.
Firstly, dictionaries do not seek to define words, just describe how they may be used.

Secondly, this dictionary describes several uses (somewhat incoherently). Which one of these (three) uses are you using? (Anyway, I have asked for the specific definition which you are using. You seem curiously reluctant to supply one.)

Thirdly, the dictionary is incorrect in it's use. The word "efficient" is scalar, not boolean. It refers to processes rather than products. A process is efficient or inefficient in comparison with another process, not as an absolute. Usually we rely on context to carry this meaning forward so - a florescent light is more [energy] efficient than incandescent light; An administrator who does his job in four hours is more time-efficient than one who does the same job in six; an "energy-efficient radiator" is one engineered to minimize waste energy - (hopefully built on a Carnot cycle).


The point of this is that efficiency needs to be defined in context if discussions about it are to have any meaning. In normal everyday conversation, we try to construct our sentences so the meaning is clear by context. In a technical discussion, especially via text, we need to be extra careful. If someone asks politely for a definition, we should provide one. Just because I think I'm being plain, does not mean you think so.

But, tellingly, chort has chosen to focus on semantics and ignore the other part of the passage quoted:

It also puts my work at the mercy of the service provider.

... there have been opportunities to address this point later as well, so I'll leave it for now. I just want to draw the reader's attention to this omission. Lets see how will it is attended to later on.

Since chort is so reluctant to make a definition, I'll have a go clarifying what I'm talking about.

It is more data-efficient to have local drive access to your computing resources. There is no need, for eg, for complex network and security infrastructure. This reduce complexity decreases reliability, and increases vulnerability, which can only impact negatively on any realistic efficiency calculation. Then there is the cost of losing control of your work - should the service provider go belly-up, for eg. - that puts the efficiency down to zero. Particularly in the long-term.

There is also an increase legal exposure and associated costs, often naivly ignored. What happens when the provider is in a different country? Excuse me but USA's privacy laws are a joke to the rest of the developed world. The effect of the host countries legal system on access and liabilities will be important. Assessing this, and keeping up with two sets of laws (yours and the host countries) can only impact negatively on said calculations.

-----

Before I go on -
I, and others who have expressed opposition, have been accused of being ignorant... I have deliberately gone into pedantic detail above in the hope of demonstrating otherwise. If not to chort, then to others reading this.

Chort - you have represented yourself as being involved in providing a service for profit. You need to realize that, to stay in business, you must must must take your customer's concerns seriously. The customer may not always be right, but their concerns are always valid. If you think of your detractors as potential customers, you'll make a much better impression - and more money.

-----

[continued next post]

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 09-22-2008 at 10:35 PM.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:38 PM   #20
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
The term "cloud computing" is not really all that helpful. It is another blanket term like IP which is designed to obscure meaning. Sadly, without specifics, I'll have to resort to it's use. I suspect much of this conflict will be resolved once more applicable terms are adopted.

Quote:
Quote:
Because a distributed license is cheaper than a per-seat license. But with free software, there is no per-seat.

Oh, so it doesn't have to run on hardware? This is news to me...
Now you are just being silly. You referred to "expensive software" yourself. This software is expensive due to it's license costs, as you well know. And businesses typically pay a per-seat license on much that they use. It is cheaper for them to put that cost on someone else.

Cloud computing allows many people to use a single license. Hence, this is one kind of (financial) efficiency available by this means. Hardware costs were addressed in a different part of my post.

However, this represents the kind of oversight that the GPLv3 hopes to cover. Proprietary and non-free vendors will certainly come up with their own "solutions".

Quote:
Quote:
It is also only a matter of time before the proprietary vendors realize they are missing out and recoup.

Missing out on what? Missing out on not having a business model?
Exactly!

It is economics 101 - "the marketplace does not stay the same". Every person using a cloud resource the way you have described it is a license which the regular vendor has not sold. (At least, they will see it that way <cough>RIAA</cough>.)

They will likely move to produce a version of their product licensed for cloud computing suppliers, or, even supply the service themselves. The cushy marketplace you represent your business as being involved in will not stay that way.

If your companies service relies on proprietary software not owned by your company, you are in for a short ride. Especially if you continue to ignore the social costs of your actions.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:39 PM   #21
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Quote:
However - there is a risk that "consumers" give up their control over their work. There is, for example, a strong motivation to increase lockin to make sure customers stay with one software-service supplier.

I'm not aware of any SaaS contracts that don't have a clause for being able to migrate your data. It's not losing control over the data, since it can always be extracted.
There does not need to be a contractual prohibition involved. There already exist "solutions" regularly purchased by companies which have no contractual obligation to remain with that vendor, yet that is the effect. IIRC the most commonly known of these solutions is called Microsoft Windows.

It would certainly be naive to assume that SaaS services (thanks for that term) would not attempt the same thing - keep an eye on Windows 7. There are certainly SaaS services which use proprietary formats and interfaces.

Quote:
Quote:
On the contrary - you have your opinion based on a short-term goal ... making money. You have not assessed the social consequences, nor have you considered the effect as non-local computing moves into the mainstream. How your competitors will respond. How your software suppliers will react.

Social consequences? Of what, everyone having access to super-computing resources for a fraction of the investment? Yes, this seems like a terrible thing to give low-end consumers resources more on-par with huge corporations.
Yes - you have highlighted a social benefit. I have not asserted that there are no benefits - but you seem keen to ignore any social costs. Costs to social solidarity and liberty when control of our computing resources is locked in by short-term business goals.

If we don't want this to happen, we need to be careful. We need to be savvy consumers.

Quote:
As for competitors, everyone expects their competitors to move to this model, why do you think companies are adopting it so aggressively? They don't want to miss out on a competitive advantage, or be left behind.
And what do you expect to be the social result of major software vendors moving to this model?

Quote:
Quote:
Which task and how do you guarantee this? This statement is meaningless without specifics.

Again - specifics lacking. What kind of guarantee?

It doesn't matter, because you wouldn't understand the industry any way. You have no way to verify the facts any more if I gave you details than you would right now, and you're not qualified to comment on the field, so there's really no point.
Oh... what qualifications do I need to comment on social and political concerns? What qualifications do I need to comment on possible harmful effects of consumer products? For that matter - what qualifications have you offered for your expertise?

Since you are a business, the only qualification I need is that I am a customer, or I represent a customer. Is this how you treat your customers?

Since you will not provide details of your specific business, we must conclude that revealing it would be detrimental to your argument. Otherwise, why not fess up? Even if I, as you claim, connat possibly understand, I an sure that there are people reading this who are qualified... and maybe they will also be able to explain it to me? This is, after all, what LQ is all about.

Instead, SCO-like, you seem to be intent on hiding information which you claim is beneficial to your argument.

Quote:
The fact is the company I work for guarantees, in writing, with financial penalties, that we can perform the given task in under 20 seconds 90% of the time.
Excellent. This sort of advantage is of great interest to me and my own clients. It is quite rare to find financial guarantees in the IT world.

Perhaps you can provide an online reference to this guarantee?

Context is everything - without knowing which service this is, I cannot assess the value of the guarantee. For example - if the task is to complete sexual services in 20 seconds, I probably won't be impressed. But if it is to run a mile in 20 seconds, I'll be gobsmacked!

Quote:
None of our competitors do. You're free to disbelieve, but then you'll simply be building more ignorance on top of what you have already displayed. Choosing to not believe something doesn't make it untrue.
Nor does choosing to believe it. A sensible consumer, and businessman, does not accept a bald assertion. You are the one making the claims, it is up to you to provide a reason to believe you. So far, all I have is your (admittedly self-interested) say-so.

You have told me what distinguishes your business from others in the same or similar market. However, you have not said what that market is and refused point blank to state what that service is. You have asserted the only reason your business can be different in this way is due to the non-local methodology.
Great - but, help me out here: without knowing which market or what service, how can I possibly assess the worth of that statement?

I could be the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology (Hi Colin ) and still unqualified to comment on these claims, due to ignorance, by the mere fact that you have chosen not to provide any information.

The SCO analogy still holds. If you, as you claim, have an example which supports your case, present it.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:43 PM   #22
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Quote:
It is easy to imagine a thin-client system served over the internet. The devil is in the details... how easily can customers change service providers? Can they get access to their files? Can they access the service with free software? What happens to their files in the event the service provider proves insolvent?
Read the contract carefully. This is really no different than any other software. Other software stores data in proprietary formats that cannot be converted for use by alternative programs. The argument is a total red herring.
It is exactly to the point.

On "other software", we have a choice to run only Free Software on our computers. We have that choice because the software runs locally. And, because it is local, free software licenses help perpetuate the freedoms implicit in them even when the user cares not a jot about them.

There is no such mechanism in cloud computing.

We know from other markets that where there is no such mechanism exists, the market will be quickly dominated by the proprietary lock-in model. As you point out, consumers need to be careful and knowledgeable.

Unfortunately, many users cultivate their ignorance (we've all met them) and SaaS providers are economically motivated to help (keep them ignorant).

You have amply demonstrated this yourself by declaring your entire opposition ignorant and/or unqualified, yet refusing to provide the very information which you claim supports your arguments.

With SaaS, consumers do not choose which software to use. That is chosen for them. With many gnu/linux distros, you don't choose what you get either. However, if we object to a particular application, we can change it or choose not to use it.

Quote:
Quote:
There are ways of running these things which mitigate the social and ethical effects. What does your company do to address these issues?

You have yet to present any social issues.
Yes I have - those of freedom of choice, and access. I have brought these up repeatedly.

For instance - do customers store their data on your companies systems? How is this handled? What will happen to it should the company become insolvent?

Surely, if your (hypothetical) company has not addressed any particular issue I have presented, you are surely aware of any issues which your company has addressed? Are there none at all?

Actually, you mentioned one - you said that the contract terms allow for migration of the customers data. You didn't say how, though. But if your customers data is kept in an open format, that would go a long way to mitigating provider-choice issues.

Now do you see what I mean?
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:44 PM   #23
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Quote:
While it is possible to imagine an ethical cloud computing service, there is no mechanism which helps guarantee one. It is all too easy to imagine an unethical system, however.

The same is true of on-premises software.
Not exactly - with on-premises software, the owner has the option to use free software. The free software license provides a mechanism which help guarantee a set of ethics, even when the owner is not interested in them.
See
http://www.gnu.org
... for more information on this process.

Quote:
Do you have any idea how many applications "call home" with data about their users? You're acting like this issue is unique to SaaS, when that's far from the truth.
Not at all, I was careful to qualify the statement.

SaaS providers may choose to run free software also. Look at LQ? We can access the posts with free software, and LQ runs free software. What are the contract terms? Who owns all these posts?

In general, though, there is little motivation for SaaS, and HaaS suppliers to do so. The main benefits involve reduced license costs - when you don't have to pay $200 a seat for office, that's something you can take to the CEO.

The same economics applies to free software, with the addition that the company retains control of the companies data. This must be compelling - and the main objection from the managers is that the software is not <insert brand here>. You've probably seen something similar in your (hypothetical) business.

Quote:
Quote:
Not so with free software. Instead of promoting remote use of proprietary systems, we could be developing and improving free software.

Or promoting development of free services? Sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending cloud computing doesn't offer tremendous advantages doesn't make that so. Being tied to on-premises software ties you to very finite hardware resources, thus drastically limiting scalability.
I have not claimed that cloud computing does not offer tremendous advantages. I have asserted that it also offers great scope for abuse. There are great disadvantages presenting themselves, particularly in terms of public access to free software ad the resulting impact on personal liberty.

My response, above, was supposed to point out that, what you previously issues as a disadvantage of local software was not, in fact, a disadvantage when free software enters the equation. Please reread the original post with this in mind.

There are, indeed, costs related to local solutions. It is my position, in a nutshell, that wholesale reliance on "cloud computing" is, on balance, bad for society.

You have responded that there are strong economic forces pushing to a cloud-computing model.
I agree.

You have asserted that there are great advantages to using this model, for home users as well as for businesses.
I agree.

You have asserted that, if only I understood these things, I too would embrace the brave new world of [del]solyent g[/del], I mean, cloud computing.
I disagree.

It is possible to agree with the first two points without having to give up my position.

As for the third - I have refrained from making a similar case in terms of your arguments. I don't believe in argument from authority anyway. Surely, if your arguments have merit, this will become apparent with discussion. Same with mine. No amount of ridicule or authority will make a shred of difference to this.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:46 PM   #24
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Quote:
Note: professionals (Pixar, Weta) prefer not to risk their "property rights" to a third party. They use inexpensive, local, applications to do their rendering on cheap hardware.

I guess that's why HP and others are investing billions into building on-demand computing environments for graphics rendering? Yes, clearly no one uses those. Certainly not, say, DreamWorks to render Shrek2.
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/21...nd-magic-shrek
... Most of shrek 2 was rendered in-house. However, you have already pointed out the strong economic forces pushing companies to invest in cloud computing, so it comes as no surprise that hp etc are doing so. (Though this is a small part of their overall budget compared with their onsite-solutions investment.)

You are correct, though, to add balance to my assertion about what "professionals" use

However - overall, Dreamworks (your example) does the vast majority of their rendering in-house for exactly the reasons I described. They also have a very close relationship with hp, so the use of hp offsite services had more to do with marketing than any perceived technical merit. (A bit like the appearance of sony vaio in the Resident Evil movies.)

IIRC: Shek 3 was entirely rendered on-site - at least, the on-site resources for rendering was greatly increased for the movie. If the offsite resource was such an advantage, surely it's use would have increased?

Before you rush off ... OK OK point taken - there exist large rendering jobs which have been performed remotely. I'll accept that you can find one, and so, save you the trouble. Can you accept that there exist compelling reasons to do your work locally?

(We may not agree about what makes a reason compelling - but do you think there are any at all?)
 
Old 09-22-2008, 10:50 PM   #25
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Quote:
Quote:
But - when the video can only be rendered to a closed format and requires a specific client to view it, you've lost almost all the advantage.

Huh? What would imply a proprietary codec?
I don't beleive I implied that - I believe I said it out loud.[/quote] Now you're just constructing straw-men.[/quote]

Do you suppose that there will be no cloud computing providers using proprietary codecs? I submit that almost all of them will. There is nothing in the economics to prevent it and there is much to promote it. They'll do it to "protect" market share. After all, it's what DRM is about.

We know from experience with other markets that things will go this way. Is there any reason to believe that the same won't happen with cloud computing services?

Quote:
Quote:
you certainly should. You need to think beyond short-term convenience, and try out a larger picture. What sort of society are you helping build?

1984 I guess. That's OK, I'm not trying to win over paranoid delusionals, just ordinary people who don't know the facts.
Fine - then post for them instead and maybe I'll learn something by accident Meantime -

Do you believe the social arguments have no merit?

To the rest of you - is this the kind of person you want to be running your resources?

Quote:
While you're at it, go tell Chicken Little that the sky is falling.
Once again we see how confused these advocates can get... in the famous story, it was Chicken Little who announced that the sky is falling.

You'll also see that I deliberately set out ethical and social arguments in a different post. Chort has ignored this completely, choosing to concentrate on the more direct arguments in this one. Like many people involved in business, there is an unfamiliarity with ethics. Witness the incoherence that results.



There is a lot of confusion about cloud computing - I have pointed out before that it is not really a helpful term. It is quite likely that all this argument could be avoided if we were more explicit. After all, the term has come to refer to a wide range of processes and services.
http://blog.milkingthegnu.org/2008/0...-defend-y.html

Is LQ a cloud computing service? What about Source Forge?

I'm not saying that cloud computing is evil - it's just that here is an additional challenge to advocates of free software. If you care about liberty, yours and/or your countries, then look to these services with grave suspicion.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 11:13 PM   #26
Simon Bridge
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,211

Rep: Reputation: 197Reputation: 197
Whew... that should about cover it.
Apologies for the long posts.

The original post (remember?) was about distros.

I still think it is not up to distros to enforce ethical services. Chort brought up a good point about encouraging free services - but how best are we to go about this?

There are many advantages to the non-local model, usually for specific uses. For general computing, there is concern about liberty and social cohesion because of the wide scope for abuse by the vendor.

There have been times when some advantage has ended up incurring such social ill that we choose to outlaw the practice completely. Slavery? Death penalty? Beating children? These practices all have their compelling arguments. Those of us supporting societies where these are prohibited acts like to consider ourselves "enlightened". We believe that the social harm of these acts outweighs any benefits, and we have found no other way to mitigate this harm.

And there are things which are clearly socially ill which are explicitly allowed in a regulated way because we have discovered that a greater ill befalls us if we attempt a prohibition. Alcohol, tobacco, abortion, prostitution, firearms.

(Note - my examples have varying legality across the World - this is deliberate.)

Where do the various online services fit?

Peoples of free societies tend to value liberty very highly and like to encourage those acts which improve our liberty as well as social cohesion. In these societies, anything which threatens these values should be held in suspicion. It may be that we will need to regulate online services - I hope not.

Proprietary software, particularly software patents, eulas, and draconian copyright laws threaten our freedom. We respond with mass disobedience, and free software.

The free software movement has been particularly effective in it's use of copyleft and in leveraging peoples natural tendencies to create communities and share. This has given the likes of the GNU projects a jump on proprietary-based business still struggling under the "greed is good" business models of the 80s.

It would be nice to see something which could help online services to be run ethically. GPLv3 helps by attempting to block off a vector by which free software can be removed from the community pool.

Hopefully, consumer education will be enough. Insistence on open formats, access by free clients, and so forth, will go a long way.

Hopefully the business projections I made earlier will mean that free-software based SaaS/HaaS will be more economic than closed/proprietary ones.

Here's to hope.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #27
chort
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Silicon Valley, USA
Distribution: OpenBSD 4.6, OS X 10.6.2, CentOS 4 & 5
Posts: 3,660

Rep: Reputation: 69
I'll save everyone the silliness of a giant WOT (Wall Of Text).

The point is, fundamentally there's no less freedom with a service than with a software product that directly provides the same service. Either way you can access your data, either way the vendor can generate it in a proprietary format to create lock-in, either way the vendor can glean information about your data and usage.

By the way, the same goes for choices as well. Just because services migrate to on-demand rather than on-premises doesn't mean there will be less choices. There will be competing vendors, such as Microsoft, Oracle, Google, etc... They will offer these services out of data centers in many countries, for instance the company I work for hosts all our international customers outside of the US for obvious reasons. Companies are in business to make money, and there's no money in selling things that people don't want.

Railing about some imaginary, unspecified social concerns isn't useful to anyone, least of all the author of a veritable volume of text that must have consumed no small amount of time to compose. What's the use of raising an alarm about some immaterial "bad things" that haven't even been vaguely represented, much less proven to exist? If you want to play Devil's advocate, fine, but at least provide some compelling arguments aside from "it might be bad".

Making up arguments that guaranteeing a task to complete in a certain amount of time might be detrimental is just a silly distraction. Why on Earth would a corporation advertise that they did something fast, if fast was bad? Inventing laughable scenarios like that just detracts from any valid argument you might attempt to make by appearing to grasp wildly at straws.

Finally, not every consumer is valuable. Only consumers/potential customers that represent a large portion of a target market make sense to pay attention to. This means either potential customers with huge budgets and a willingness to spend them, or huge numbers of potential customers, with small individual budgets, but totaling a very large aggregate sum are interesting. Corner-cases are only interesting if very lucrative.

So a small handful of people bulk and drag their feet, fearing shadowy, dark forces around every turn--so what? The market for SaaS is growing much faster than any other sector. Corporate customers are demanding SaaS solutions and that's driving the market. Industry analysts are predicting increasing momentum and warning vendors that they need to offer their products as services within the next couple years, or risk being left behind.

The early adopters proved the model, and companies that were originally reluctant to sign up, not because they didn't recognize the potential benefits, but because they were concerned about security, are now signing up in droves due to improved security controls, such as double-blind encryption performed with the customer's key that the vendor does not have access to.

By the way, all the preaching about GPLv3 and "copyleft" is basically empty words. In the corporate world, Open Source is all about "embrace and extend". Sure, tons of corporations are using Open Source code, in fact nearly every corporation is, but how much of the source code do you ever see, and how much of that tiny fraction is even useful?

Corporations, not individuals, are the major users of Open Source code, and the vast majority of it is used behind closed doors and "under the covers" of products. Companies are very careful to have their lawyers find loopholes that allow them to do this, or at the very least figure out ways to segregate off the OSS from the proprietary portions so that proprietary code isn't "infected".

Anyone who believes Richard Stallman is going to be extremely disappointed in 50 years when a revolution of community-owned code fails to materialize. Realize that a proprietary OS built on OSS is growing faster than actual Open Source OSs in the personal computer market (Apple OSX vs. "Desktop Linux").

Yes, Linux is growing quickly in the server market, but mostly at the expense of Sun, not so much due to the software, but because of the ability to escape platform lock-in to expensive hardware. You'll notice that Microsoft is still doing quite well.
 
Old 09-23-2008, 01:22 AM   #28
CharmCityCrab
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 12

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
chort:

A lot of the details and rationale aside, can we agree that there is probably a group of computer users out there who prefer a non-cloud based solution, and may well always prefer a non-cloud based solution? What's so wrong about giving those of us who want things to remain off the cloud, an operating system and software that cater to us? I don't know how we are as a market segment, but I'll bet we're at least one or two percent, maybe significantly larger. Right now, all of Linux is less than 1% of the computer market. So, by numbers, you'd think an OS keeping it and it's core software's feet planted rather than moving to the cloud would be very justified.

I think there is a user-rights component to this. We shouldn't be forced to put our data in other people's hands and to subscribe to services if we don't want to. And it's all well and good to say "Well, just don't use computers then", but that's increasingly like telling people not to use electricity or something, most wouldn't consider it a viable option.

I frankly don't really care what's best for corporations. I care what's best for people, and about the rights of people. I'd like to think a few "community based" distros would have a similar philosophy. Linux was started to protect people's rights to have control over their operating systems, applications, and data; and through that their hardware. Cloud computing takes away a lot of that freedom. I feel more free on even my Windows partition than I would on a Linux cloud.

This idea that we're all supposed to bow down and worship the mighty dollar and say "Oh, okay, take away our freedoms and force us into things we don't want to be forced into, because, oh businesses have a right to make as much money as possible, and we shouldn't ever complain" is ludicrous. I don't have a problem with businesses making a buck, but I do have a problem with them twisting my arm to do it.
 
Old 09-23-2008, 05:55 AM   #29
jschiwal
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654
Look at the effect that the internet has had on software sales. It used to be you could go to best buy, or a software store in the mall, or a couple bookstore chains that had software sections. Now there is only one retailer (Best Buy) that sells software in the shelves, but mostly games. The selection of non-game software has been drastically reduced as of late. If you don't have a credit card, it is difficult to purchase software now. Will "cloud-computing" if it becomes prevalent mean that software is only available as a service? What about areas of the country without high speed access. Will cloud computing eliminate the boxed software market?

Will this change the type of computer you can purchase? Some feel that the desktop may be on the way out, because businesses are purchasing laptops for the workstations.

Ironically, it was MS that had been the most fearful of cloud computing. If you can do everything in a standard web browser, the choice of OS is not important and the OS is devalued as well. They saw CSS/java as a threat and crippled CSS support in their browser and "extended" java to maintain their grip over the long term and attacked NetScape. They were successfully sued by Sun over what they did with Java. That case is where the "Embrace, Extend, Eliminate" memo came to light.
 
Old 09-23-2008, 09:51 AM   #30
chort
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Silicon Valley, USA
Distribution: OpenBSD 4.6, OS X 10.6.2, CentOS 4 & 5
Posts: 3,660

Rep: Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
If you can do everything in a standard web browser, the choice of OS is not important and the OS is devalued as well.
At least someone gets it: The OS is irrelevant. For far too long people have wrangled with Operating Systems, which one is better, which one has the most apps, which one has apps that are compatible with the others... People waste time upgrading, patching, hardening, trouble-shooting, etc... it's all a giant waste of time. People don't have computers to run Operating Systems, they have computers to run Applications.

Cloud Computing opens up Applications to a much wider audience. The hardware requirements are minimal, the interface is a standards-based browser, and you barely have to worry about upgrading or patching anything (basically just your browser). The OS becomes irrelevant.

In 20 years time you will probably not be able to get Operating Systems as boxed software like you can now. All your applications will come from the cloud, like cable TV, long-distance telephone, etc... they will all be services.
 
  


Reply

Tags
spam, spamming


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any anti-virus and anti-worm package? just.srad Linux - General 8 04-20-2008 10:14 AM
CNN now anti-linux / anti-mplayer? rylan76 General 10 06-02-2006 04:43 PM
LXer: Microsoft Anti-Spyware Deleting Norton Anti-Virus LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 02-13-2006 04:31 AM
Best Anti-spam and Anti-virus application? vittibaby Linux - Newbie 6 10-21-2003 07:21 AM
Creating an ultimate anti-virus and anti-spam email gateway markcc Linux - Networking 2 10-08-2003 03:10 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:38 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration